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Branding Crew Pea Salad

Posted by on May 19, 2017

It’s that time of year… Time to round up the new crop of Angus calves for branding and vaccines.  Cowboys and cowgirls are on their horses at sunrise, and the work is done by noon, way before the thermometer will reach its peak. The branding crews are quick and efficient, and the calves are returned to their momma’s side as soon as possible. No breaks until the work is done. When the Ranch Foreman says it’s time for lunch, breakfast is a distant memory, consumed before the sun had even peaked over the corral.  Everyone is well past starved.   “Grub pile; come a runnin’!” We are so fortunate at the Sanford Ranch to have capable working crews in the branding pen as well as in the cookhouse. Tavia Vinson and her sister-in-law, Belinda Sursa, have been cooking together for family get-togethers and cowboy gatherings for many years. They’re no strangers to dust-covered, day workin’ crews having been involved in the ranching industry their whole lives. We are also grateful for the neighbors who eagerly volunteer to wash a dish or two during the week. A soul-satisfying meal takes time and attention. The cooks start early, way before the others are even thinking about yanking on their boots. After bellies are full and plates...

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Calf on the ground!

Posted by on May 12, 2017

“Nobody ever drowned himself in sweat.”   Finally – it is spring! Birds singing, flower and garden planting, evening walks and vacation planning. If your livelihood has anything to do with a cattle ranch though, you best hold up because spring is when the real work begins. Cowmen spend all year turning pasture grasses into steaks to feed the public, and that beef has to be transported to where the meat processors and people are. The new additions to the herd have to be identified and this is done at the Spring branding. In the early days of the great cattle drives, few fences blocked the route from Texas ranches to the rail heads north. Cowboys drove herds to central locations and the trail drives consisted of thousands of head from multiple outfits. Livestock branding was the only way to establish ownership.   Cortes was one of the first to bring fire branding to North America when he marked his Andulusian cattle from Spain with Three Christian Crosses. Today livestock identification is just as important even with miles of barded wire, and fire branding remains the most efficient.     In Texas, brands are registered with the county clerk in which the herd resides. The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Association has become the...

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Hey Mom, You Should Know…

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017

…I Kept the Bedspread. Remember the one that matched that wacky green carpet and odd gold walls in the new house on Cleveland Street? You laid it across your bed one day: mauve and pale pink flowers on a leafy background of green and gold along with a plaid pattern in muted shades of maroon. It matched the flooring and walls perfectly, as if the room had been decorated around that spread. After we admired it for most of...

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Trouble in Texas: Horse Thieves

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017

A wild west adventure story, which all begins because of a missing horse. Click Here: Buy it now! Click on the BOOKS Tab at the top of the page for more details about the book. I’m releasing the first two chapters of my new book exclusively to my Email Newsletter subscribers. For most writers, creating a book can be an intensive, lengthy process and that’s just the writing part. The next step is the submission process which can be just...

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